The Drive-By Truckers are no stranger to State College. Over the past decade, they have performed at the State Theatre and at former clubs Lulu’s and the Crowbar, just to name few.
They return to the area June 12 for a show at Levels Nightclub. This time around, they will promote “English Oceans,” an album released earlier this year to critical acclaim. NPR called it a “true comeback” and The Daily Beast said it was “one of the best albums of their career.”
Truckers singer Patterson Hood has called “English Oceans” his favorite project of all the band’s works. Hood and guitarist Mike Cooley felt rejuvenated after taking some time off following the release of “Go-Go Boots” in 2011.
“This time, we made kind of a magical record. I’ve always felt that ‘Decoration Day’ was our best record, and this is the first one that I think is a better record than that was,” Hood said. “It was a matter of going into the studio and cutting it as fast as we could and leaving it a little on the rough and raw side.”
The energy captured during the recording of “English Oceans” has carried over into the Truckers’ live shows. Hood said the band’s lineup has solidified in the past few years and they are hitting their stride on this tour.
The set list will mostly focus on material from the new album, but Hood said the band tries to incorporate deeper cuts and surprises when possible.
“The band is tighter and better than ever and we’re all getting along and having more fun than I can remember,” he said. “It’s a fun bunch of songs to play and the response has been really great.”
The Truckers look back fondly on their time in State College, but Hood said some things will be different than their previous visits here.
“We always had fun there,” Hood said. “Back in the old days, we did a lot of late night partying there after shows. Not so much anymore, but it was fun at the time.